Wayne Gretzky: Savior or Goat?
A great player can never be a great coach. Thats what the pundits and experts say. Nevermind that Wayne Gretzky is one of the best players to ever play the game, it won’t translate to coaching. Some folks REALLY need to take their heads out of the nether regions. Wonder how long it will take for them to publish anything about WG’s accomplishments? I probably shouldn’t hold my breath ‘eh.
I think the old vets we had in here when TGO first got here were not ready, able or about to listen to a thing he said. There was no awe or luster about the game any more for many of them. They were just markin time for the most part. With WG still finding his coaching feet he relied much to heavily on Barry Smith (a coach who in various reports was not well liked by the players). Smith seemed to be the ‘real’ coach of the Coyotes as WG was reported being MIA during some important practice sessions or in the stands observing the proceedings. Smith is gone and so is Toc *temporarily* Toc Article The entire coaching gig rests on the slim shoulders of WG now… no complications caused by too many chiefs.
Out with the old and in with the new. The young kids still have stars in their eyes about Gretzky and the game. They have no clue that what he’s telling them to do is nearly impossible to pull off. They just go out and do it. Not many coaches would have put this many rookies out on the ice. The temptation to get a few more fillers must have been enormous. Thank you for resisting GMDM and TGO.
Luckily this crop of vets listens and performs and doesn’t interfere with what TGO is teaching. Hell, they are even starting to believe what he’s saying too. We finally are blessed w/ enough talented youth to swing the tide towards buy- in of the system… And there is no doubt this time… it is Wayne’s system. Play it his way or hit the highwway (or press box). There are a couple of older guys who have been either dumped or disregarded by the rest of the NHL and just want their chance… TGO is giving it to them…and they are giving him everything they have in return.
Report card at the half way mark says Wayne Gretzky is not only a good coach but is on his way to being a great one. (oh yes, pun is definitely intended)
Despite being short an assistant coach, WG has engaged and nurtured this team into believing in themselves. Believing that every night they can win. Believing that there is a chance that they can make it to the playoffs. Hell, he’s on his way to convincing the rest of us of the same thing.
All around the web there are discussions… no, not about who we get with our lottery pick.Again, that is so last year and the year b4 that and, well you know the drill. These discussions are more like strategy sessions. ‘WHEN we pull off another good road trip, WHEN we beat the Sharks again, WHEN Toc comes back.’ Not IF, simply WHEN.
All around the league there are discussions too. ‘What are we gonna do about Phoenix? How do we counter such a wild card team? Who has been hot for them this week? How many lines are they rollin that we can effectively counter? How is our record against Bryzgalov?‘ No more well we can pick up a couple of easy goals against Phoenix so let’s start our back up guy and maybe give our star players a rest’. I can’t think of a single team that can say with confidence ‘oh its only Phoenix’… not even the Redwings.
With Don Maloney lookin after our acquisitions and scouting and Treliving and Ireland preparing our minor league-rs, the systems are working in tandem to provide the parent club with what it needs to get the job done. Most of the call ups have been phenomenal when they get here. They have already been used to hard work and fast pace and know the system. And who can overlook Mal’s promise to not sell the farm to get the pieces we so desperately needed and managing to get those pieces anyway?
With the addition of Bryz! and Vbrat, Maloney gave us 2 keys to our resurgence. With the current crop of rookie’s character and intelligence and drive, the future has arrived much earlier than it was supposed to.
Is TGO surprised? He’d like you to think so. But remember, this is the guy who was always 8 steps ahead of everyone else in the game. Why should he be any different as a coach? If we don’t make it to the post season, it won’t be because Wayne didn’t have what it takes. It won’t be because the team didn’t give it their best shot. Sometimes Lady Luck is not much of a lady and feces happen… frequently. But you can bet your season ticket money that we are going to be right in the thick of it til the very end.
There is hockey joy in the desert again, there is hockey pride on the ice again, there is hockey loyalty brewin right here in Phoenix people. And it didn’t ride in on the back of a goat.
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